Ketchup and mustard go hand-in-hand, but they both have very different origins, separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles. Mental Floss provides a brief history of the popular condiments. While early mustards were similar to today’s, the first ketchups had more in common with fish sauce.
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If you think that electronic music was born in the 1970s or 1980s, you’d be wrong. Bandsplaining introduces us to Silver Apples, a group who was way ahead of their time, creating innovative glitch-pop sounds back in 1967. They even worked with Jimi Hendrix, but faded into obscurity after a controversial album cover did them in.
In the early 1900s, electricity was about to take the world by storm. But live wires couldn’t safely be used without insulation. Resin harvested from insects worked, but was too expensive to harvest. Necessity being the mother of invention, it drove chemist Leo Baekeland to develop what would become the world’s first plastic.
While many considered Nikolai Tesla to be a genius, he also had some pretty outlandish ideas, like the notion that we would stop drinking coffee by the 21st century. Mental Floss editor Erin McCarthy explores this and a number of other wacky predictions that have yet to come true, among them, undersea buses propelled by whales.
(PG-13: Language) “The irritating screech of a dial-up connection was replaced by the equally grating sound of teenagers expressing themselves.” Ordinary Things turns into Ordinary People, as our host walks us through a history of the Emo movement, as it evolved out of punk into something more suburban, then imploded.
If you’ve ever played the The Game of LIFE board game, you know it’s a pretty innocuous way to pass the time. But as Vox points out, the original version that came out in the 1860s included much darker milestones than just buying a house or sending your kids to college.
After a long day at work, it’s nice to take the edge off with a little booze. But where did humans get the idea to ferment spirits and drink them in the first place? TED-Ed presenter Rod Phillips looks back on the 7,000+ year history of alcohol, which like many things, appears to have its origins with ancient Chinese civilizations.
Yep, vacation is over. So it’s time to get back to your desk and maybe do some work or learn something. Let’s start off with another oddball history lesson from Sam O’Nella Academy, and one Timothy Dexter, an 18th century farmhand who married his way into aristocracy, and then became even more wealthy despite his stupidity.
Imagine if you will, that the entire 4.5 billion history of the Earth was collapsed down to a 24-hour single day. Bright Side’s educational video does just that, taking significant events in the development of our world and giving us a relative sense of how closely together they played out.
Back in the 1950s, a new method of transportation was in development. The Fairey Rotodyne looked like the offspring of a helicopter and an airplane, and could take off and land vertically. But fast as it appeared, the Rotodyne vanished. Mustard takes a look at this unique aircraft, and why it never got off the ground.
During WWII, Oak Ridge, Tennessee served as a facility for nuclear weapons development, housing nearly 75,000 people, all while managing to keep the entire existence of the town top secret. Half as Interesting explores the fascinating history of this small southern town.
Ahoy presents an incredibly in-depth analysis of the origins of video games, swiftly debunking any confusion that Pong was the first video game ever, and looking back at early titles like Computer Space, SpaceWar!, Tennis for Two, and their programmers. Turns out hunting down the very first video game isn’t that simple.
Accompanied by an animation from Remus & Kiki, narrator Adrian Dannatt adds his authoritative voice to Alex Gendler’s TED-Ed lesson about the origins of the popular board game, which dates back to the 7th century in India – or possibly earlier – and is still recognized as one of the most challenging strategy games you can play.
You have a better chance of being struck by lightning multiple times than winning a big lottery these days. But a couple of decades back, Stefan Mandel figured out that depending on the size of a lottery’s jackpot, if you bought every single combination, you’d be guaranteed a win. He just had to figure out how to buy them all.
Yarrrrrr! Avast, ye mateys! Shiver me timbers! That’s how we generally think that pirates spoke. But it turns out that it’s a complete fabrication. Cheddar explains where that familiar pirate speak came from, and theorizes on what they might have actually sounded like.
(PG-13: Language) There’s a long, and often disturbing history of launching animals into the cosmos before space programs felt comfortable sending humans. Sam O’Nella Academy looks back at the creatures who often gave their lives so that space exploration could march forward.
“In 1818, civil engineer William Cubbitt designed the first treadmill as a device to punish inmates…” Learn this and everything else you never wanted to know about treadmills, as explained by an ordinary guy in the compelling new web series Ordinary Things. Then learn about pillows, stairs, and onions too.
(PG-13: Language) From a man who was shot through the head, to another who jammed a drill bit in there, to a guy who crash-landed his plane and fought off a pack of wild animals, Sam O’Nella Academy is here to regale us with another round of strange but true stories.
(PG-13: Language) Punk rock shook up the music scene back in 1976, but “proto-punk” bands dating all the way back to the late 1950s defined the genre without even knowing it. Trash Theory looks back at the history of punk rock, and the roots of its anti-establishment sounds.
While many video game characters have four fingers, the practice is frowned upon in Japan, resulting in special variants of everyone from Bart Simpson to Crash Bandicoot. Censored Gaming looks at the history behind the strange 4-fingered discrimination in the country.
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